UNESCO Director-General Urges Urgent Action on Climate Change


5 June 2008:

Speaking on the occasion of World Environment Day 2008, on 5 June 2008,

Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and

Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said that this year's slogan, “CO2: Kick the

Habit! Towards a Low

Carbon Economy,” reminds the international community of its duty to strive for

a carbon and climate-neutral society. He stressed that there is sufficient knowledge

on the nature, scope and impact of environmental degradation and climate change

to warrant urgent action.

Noting that

knowledge is the first step towards awareness, he underlined the work of the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in building sound knowledge. He

called for: conceiving and applying educational tools to communicate the

practices, values and principles of sustainability; and adopting measures,

within the international development agenda, to adapt to the impacts of climate

change and other environmental pressures. He explained that kicking the habit

of exceeding carbon dioxide emissions requires transparent and participatory

adaptation programmes, as well as addressing the ethical dimension of climate

change. On the latter, he stressed the need to take into account the

differentiated capacity of countries and peoples to deal with global warming,

and local knowledge and practices to ensure sustainability.  [Statement]